Why spend time building a Facebook business/brand page when you are going to be forced to Boost Post (pay Facebook) to get the reach up beyond about 1% – 2% of your organic followers?
Does Facebook have value today, now that Facebook is getting more stingy with reach and more greedy about charging for views? Even with 100 fans (I haven’t spent much time building MY business page, I’m so focused on other’s pages) my posts reach an average of 4 people. What’s the point?
If you’re only looking at REACH and MARKETING on Facebook for your business, you are missing much of the value that is available by building a healthy Facebook presence.
First let’s get the elephant in the room well described: Facebook is desperate for profit. They are now squeezing your reach by only showing your posts to a maximum of 5% of your followers. But that number goes up the minute on of your followers SHARES or LIKES your post. Facebook has made it clear they want businesses to pay for reach, even to their fans. That means even if you have thousands of followers, you’ll have to pay to reach more than a handful of them.
Second, if you’re thinking of ADVERTISING on Facebook, let’s also be clear. Traditional Facebook advertising (paid clicks using ads in the right-rail or injected into the news feed, range from 0.01 – 0.03% Did you get that? We’re talking hundredths of a percent!
What does work well on Facebook?
Mobile ads on Facebook obtain better reach, for sure. But if you are merely directing those ads to your post, or picture, or un-optimized homepage of your website, you’re results are going to be very poor indeed. Better than desktop advertising, but not by much. The mobile ad on Facebook that points to a DIRECT DOWNLOAD of a Mobile App is the HOMERUN. If you have an app, advertising within the Facebook mobile stream is a stunningly good performer. The average rates approach 3%. That’s real percentage points. Now, it’s unlikely, that even with a FREE APP you are going to convert more than 50% of those clicks, but hey, you’ve gotten your potential buyer to the buying portal (even free apps have a high drop off) on the device of their choice. Try and to that through traditional web advertising, it’s a bit tougher.
Beyond Transactional Relationships
The other things that work well on Facebook are Customer Support and Conversations.
Your customers are on Facebook. Not being there when they look for you is a mistake. They may have a complaint or a question about your product or promotion. Give them a Facebook page to reach you.
And your customers and potential customers will want to see your social activity. If you don’t have any presence on Facebook they will be less trusting of your company as a whole. Even if the conversations are merely postings of your latest offerings and ideas, it shows you are established. And if you get comments or likes, for goodness sake answer and thank them.
The win on Facebook is engaging in every opportunity to respond to your current and potential customers. If someone shares one of your posts on Facebook you’ve just upped your Reach by 10%. That still only gets you to about 13% of your fan base, but it sure beats paying for it.
Boosting a Post on Facebook
If you want to try Boosting Posts on Facebook here are a couple hints from several years of playing the pay for reach game.
- Boost posts that already show potential to be shared. Face it, not all your posts are winners. Wait and find one that your fans are LIKING. If they are SHARING it, by all means, spend the $5 to get the next 1,000 views.
- If your going to boost a post make sure you know what the goal of that post is. What ACTION do you want readers to take? Do you want to gain LIKES, are you selling something, is there something in it for the clicker? A post without a CTA (call-to-action) doesn’t make much sense these days, but a Boosted Post without a clear WIN is hard to measure and harder to justify.
- Posts with pictures get shared about 3X their text only versions. And Facebook has let it be known they prioritize photo posts over text-only posts. So be sure and put your best image forward on all your posts.
Facebook is changing, but don’t listen to the media trying to tell you it is on it’s way out. People have grumbled about Facebook forever. But it keeps growing. Maybe not as fast as some new service. But when they are gone, Facebook will still be the biggest, baddest, social network on the web. Unfortunately it’s becoming more of an advertising platform. But if you learn how to use it for your business, you can score some wins, even on the New pay-for-play Facebook.